Nissan has only sold about 16,600 Leafs, the manufacturer’s electric-car offering, since they came on the market in December 2010, according to the Associated Press. But that doesn’t mean that the company is going to make fewer of the autos.
With the Leaf just voted Europe's EV of the Year, the AP reports that Nissan “is aiming to be the world's No. 1 in green cars, targeting cumulative sales of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles with alliance partner Renault SA of France.”
The AP notes that the electric-car market is about to “intensify” since other big manufacturers, such as Toyota, are jumping in. Toyota, the AP points out, “already offers plug-in hybrid cars, which run partly as EVs but switch to become regular hybrids with gas engines when they run out of the electric charge.”
As for Nissan, it has a six-year plan that includes producing “a plug-in hybrid by fiscal 2016 and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent per vehicle compared with 2005 levels.” Meanwhile, it is aiming to increase fuel efficiency on all of its vehicles by 35 percent in the time frame and stepping up its marketing.
The brand's "Innovation for Endurance" Facebook and Tumblr campaign, for instance, features athletes (along with "actor and environmental activist" Ryan Reynolds) promoting healthier lifestyles including a new mobile app — and the chance to win a Leaf in a weekly contest. The Japanese automaker is working with the Italian city of Florence to bring it to a zero-emission future.
"More consumers are demanding products in line with their values, including cars and trucks with a lower carbon footprint," Nissan President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn was quoted by AP. "At the same time, we are using technology to make our factories greener and more efficient."
Nissan just announced its new six-year environmental plan, Nissan Green Program 2016, which will focus on three areas: reduction of carbon footprint, shift to renewable energy and an increase in the diversity of resources used by Nissan.